We need a future-focused new leader who can credibly and convincingly tell the story of how our environment and our economy fits together.
I’m asking for your vote to keep our party united, move forward together, and defeat the NDP to form a new and better government for the people of BC.
We’ll only win the next election if we’re united.
We’ll only win the next election if we have a credible plan on the environment.
As I said in the second leadership debate, we can’t let the environment be a divisive issue that runs a meat cleaver down the middle of our coalition. The NDP are doing plenty to drive a wedge between urban and rural BC without us doing it too.
Our party must have room for both the families who drive their kids to school in electric cars and the hard-working people who mine the materials that go into them.
And, no, we shouldn’t get on a pedestal and talk down to our friends who still love their trucks and who need them in places and professions where electric vehicles don’t make any sense. Different people have different needs and make different choices in a free market. Good.
Our next leader needs to be able to connect with people all across the spectrum. I’m proud to have spent years working to get the Trans Mountain Expansion Project built and make sure communities across BC benefited from jobs and opportunities. And I’m proud to have the support of Matt Toner, a Vancouver tech entrepreneur who is the former Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party.
We need to keep our party united while winning back middle-of-the-road voters who have drifted to the BC Green Party. The Green Party of Canada is a dumpster fire, and here in BC Sonia Furstenau is leading the Greens toward being the Green Party of NO. Her embrace of eco-socialism leaves a huge opportunity for us to win over eco-capitalists who believe that innovation, enterprise, and getting stuff done is the path to sustainable prosperity.
We won’t beat the NDP by surrendering to the use of climate and the environment as a purity test and a political wedge issue. But we can win with a common sense plan to capitalize on the huge economic opportunity.
We can win and build an even more prosperous BC as the green-tinged party of YES.
Working on multi-billion-dollar projects - from the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the proposed agricultural technology and food security cluster I’m currently leading in Abbotsford - I’ve learned first hand that we need to get better at getting to yes, whether that’s on responsible resource development, critical infrastructure, electric vehicle chargers, or housing and childcare.
We need to grow our whole economy and our whole province, not just part of it.
Electric vehicles are selling like hotcakes right now, and working families in parts of BC are choosing to buy the increasingly affordable models - not as luxuries, but to save money against household budgets that are straining under the weight of taxes and inflation.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to environmental tradeoffs, though.
Here in BC, we generate electricity from falling water. But electric vehicles still require roads and they still require an immense amount of natural resource products, like aluminum, copper, and nickel. They come with their own environmental impacts that need to be addressed - like disposing of batteries at their end of life.
Here’s the upside, though, and it’s a big one: the growing global demand for electric cars is a huge opportunity to export innovation and create jobs that support people and families right here in BC.
Just like we’re punching above our weight by exporting our natural gas as a transition fuel to reduce coal-fired power in India and China, electrification is a huge opportunity for our mining sector, which is a global leader in responsible resource development.
But that will only happen if we get better at getting to yes - and that’s where my experience navigating billions of dollars in private sector projects through complex regulatory approvals sets me apart. We need to create stable, predictable conditions for investment in order to make these opportunities real, and I’ll use my experience in the private sector to make sure our next government does exactly that.
We can and should be the party that brings people together with a focus on the economic opportunities that come from exporting our environmental leadership - whether it’s in the form of wildfire prediction and detection, climate adaptation, food security, alternative energy, or responsible resource development.
We need a future-focused new leader who can credibly and convincingly tell the story of how our environment and our economy fits together, and how people and families all over BC can benefit when their children and grandchildren grow up in a prosperous province on a healthy planet.
That’s my approach - pragmatism, not purity tests.
Let’s work together, move forward together, beat the NDP, and form a new and better government for the people of British Columbia.